What type of cat is good for first time owners?

So you’re ready to adopt your first cat, congratulations! Owning a cat is arguably one of the most amazing and life-changing experiences. But what type of cat is good for first time owners?

Consider adopting an Adult Rescue Cat

CatsOnly.org ALWAYS encourages you to adopt a mixed-breed (AKA Domestic Shorthair) cat from your local shelter or humane society. Mixed-breed cats are likely to be healthier than any purebred cat out there. 

There are ALWAYS cats available to adopt and it’s a good feeling to know that you have likely quite literally saved their life by adopting them. The reason we suggest adopting an adult cat is simple: EVERYONE wants kittens so the adults sit there at the shelters and often go un-adopted.

American Shorthair Cats

Not to be confused with Domestic Shorthair cats, American Shorthairs are fairly calm and easygoing. These cats don’t require much attention and are recommended for busy families or single pet owners who find themselves out of the home a lot as they can keep themselves entertained with the right toys at home.

Maine Coons

These are the largest domesticated cat breed but don’t let the size fool you! These gentle giants are very friendly and affectionate. If you come from a family that had dogs in the past then you’d love a Maine Coon! They’re also incredibly smart and are great hunters so they’ll keep rodents at bay!


Calm and relaxed are the best words to describe this blue-eyed breed. They’re very sociable and are incredibly sweet. They make a great first cat for most families out there. They have a pretty thick, medium-length coat so you’ll need to get used to doing some regular brushing and grooming!

Russian Blues

If you want a very loyal and sweet-tempered cat then consider a Russian Blue. Their silky gray coat can sometimes take on a bluish appearance, hence the name. These cats are very devoted to their family but can be pretty shy around newcomers to the home. They’re also fairly quiet (except when it’s time to eat!)


Best known for being bald/hairless, these cats are hilarious and have a lot of energy and acrobatic skills. They’re very nice to their owners and, because they lack hair to stay warm, they’re always trying to climb into your lap to warm up and get cozy! Make sure you’ve got time to play with them and keep them stimulated when you’re at home!

Norwegian Forest Cat

If you’re looking for a large breed that is fairly reserved then consider one of these over the Maine Coon. These big cats are very independent and essentially operate on their own time. They’ll come to you and let you know when they’re ready for affection or play time. They need a cat tree or somewhere high up so they can survey their landscape!


If you’re looking for less of an independent cat and more of a sidekick then the Abyssinian may be right for you. They’re very loyal and VERY smart. They also love affection and love being with their humans. Abyssinians also love to play and remain playful well into adulthood as they don’t exactly grow out of it like other breeds do.

What type of cat is good for first time owners? NOT a Bengal!

If you’re reading this article then you’ve likely done some Googling and have seen how other sites might list a Bengal as a good cat for a first-time owner. I’m confident that whoever is writing these articles have never actually owned a Bengal. Bengals are one of the most AMAZING breeds out there but if you’ve never owned a cat before you do not want to start there.

Why aren’t Bengal cats good for first time owners? Bengal cats are actually a cross between an Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic housecat. The Leopard Cat is an actual wild cat that was not meant to be domesticated. As a result, Bengals still have some wild traits left in them. Bengals are VERY intelligent and VERY high energy. This means they can get bored easily and can end up being destructive when it comes time to burn that energy off or keep themselves stimulated.

Next step is to decide what type of litterbox to get for your cat!

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